Sunday, October 24, 2010

Herb and Cheese Biscuits

This was a simple, plain biscuit recipe that I decided to spice up. I could see the hesitation on my husband as he watched me chop basil and roast garlic, but there was no hesitation in eating the finished product. These would be delicious with dinner, but today I used them to put a kick in breakfast.

What you need:

2 Cups Self-Rising Flour
1/2 Cup No-Trans Fat Butter or Margarine
3/4 Cup Milk
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese
1/3 Cup Fresh Basil (Chopped)
3-5 Cloves Roasted Garlic

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. When oven is preheated, roast the garlic for 5-10 minutes until soft.

Place flour into a large mixing bowl and cut in butter with a fork and mix until flour is crumbly. Mix in cheese, basil and garlic (mince garlic before mixing). Stir in mik a little at a time until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Place some flour on a flat surface and fold dough until it is no longer sticky. You may need extra flour for folding. When dough is no longer sticky, pat it down and cut with a biscuit cutter or roll into balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Banana Nut Pancakes

This is a fun and healthy spin on a breakfast favorite. My kids love to help make them and eat them!

What you need:

2 Cups Self Rising Flour
1 Cup Milk (we use almond milk)
1 Large Egg White
2 Bananas
1/3 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/4 Cup (Organic) Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tablespoon No-Trans Fat Margarine or Butter
2 Bananas for Topping (optional)
Sprinkle of Confectioner Sugar (optional)

You could just mash the bananas and put it in the pancake mix, but my kids like to use the mixer. This is what we do - Put the 2 bananas in the mixer and beat. Add egg, milk, flour and walnuts. Mix until smooth. Use a 1/4 cup to scoop mix into a preheated pan on medium heat. Flip when the pancakes are bubbly. Top with butter, maple syrup and extra bananas and sugar.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Simple, Fresh Homemade Pizza Sauce

Making a homemade pizza just isn't the same using sauce from a jar. Jar sauces contain a ton of salt, sugar and preservatives. The more my family moves toward a fresh food diet, the more concerned I get with buying jarred food. This recipe is simple, fresh and delicious!

What you need:

2 Medium Tomatoes
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil
1/4 Cup Fresh Oregano
Pinch of salt, if desired

Cut up the tomatoes into inch size pieces. Chop basil and oregano. Mix together in a pot and cook on medium-low until the tomatoes are soft and mushy, stirring occasionally. If you like your sauce chunky, then just leave it this way. If you like your sauce thin, mix in a blender. Add a pinch of salt, if desired. Makes about 1 cup.

Homemade Pepperoni Pizza

My family loves pizza! Pizza is always on the menu once each week, even if I try to avoid it. I have tried taking it off the menu, but we always end up with pizza on a busy day or when I just don't feel like cooking. It got to a point when it would make me sick (literally) and I tried very hard to avoid it all together, which is just impossible in this house.

Then I decided to take the pizza out of the restaurant. Instead of settling for picking up or ordering out, I started making our pizza at home. The fresh ingredients brought me back to the joy of pizza and didn't make me sick.

My kids only like pepperoni pizza, but feel free to add your own toppings as desired!

What you need:

1 Cup Homemade Pizza Sauce
10 Slices of Large Pepperoni
5 Slices of Gourmet Mozzarella
1 Large Thin Pizza Crust (recipe for homemade pizza crust coming soon!)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If desired, brush 2 tablespoons olive oil over pizza crust. Coat crust with sauce, almost to the edge. Cut mozzarella into squares and spread across crust. Add toppings. Place pizza directly on the center of the over rack. Turn oven down to 425 degrees and back for 7-10 minutes until crust is crispy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Simple, Low-Fat Fruit Smoothes

These smoothies are fabulous! My kids love eating them with a spoon.

What you need:

1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Cup Mixed Fruit - fresh or frozen
(Strawberries, Peaches, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Red Seedless Grapes)
Approx. 3 Tablespoons fat free yogurt

Mix ingredients together in blender and grind until smooth. Add extra fruit or milk for desired thickness. Only 160 calories and 2.5 grams of fat!

Mixing Tip: Add a handful of fresh, organic spinach. The kids won't know the difference, and spinach is rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, B, C, E and K.

Shopping Tip: Check the sugar on the yogurt label. "Fat-Free" can often lead to higher sugar, so beware. I use Publix brand because it has less sugar than other name brands.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin and Butternut Puree

Making purees can be fun, easy and used in a variety of foods. Here is a simple way to make pumpkin or butternut puree.

What you need:

A casserole or baking pan with about 1 inch of water
1 pumpkin or butternut squash
A small amount of water
Storage bags

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the pumpkin or butternut in half (you may need to cut the pumpkin into quarters depending on the size of your pan). Remove the seeds. Place the squash meat side down in the baking pan with water. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until squash is tender. Allow to cool. Place in blender or food processor with a small amount of water and puree until creamy (about 2 minutes). Store what you will use within a few days in the refrigerator, and store the rest in freezer bags (using 1/2 cup portions).

Simple Pumpkin Pancakes

My kids love these pancakes, and they don't even require syrup! They are simple, delicious and good for you, too!

What you need:

2 Cups Self-Rising Flour
1 Cup Milk (We use Almond Milk)
2 Large Egg Whites
4 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree
1 tsp cinnamon
No-trans-fat, soft tub margarine and a sprinkle of confectioners sugar

Mix all ingredients except margarine and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and pre-heat on medium high. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop batter into pan. When the pancakes begin to bubble, flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan, spread on some butter and sprinkle a little confectioners sugar on top (I use about 1 teaspoon for 3 pancakes).

The kids love to have a cup of Almond milk to drink along side their pancakes. My daughter even likes to dip the pancakes in the milk.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Making Stock

Over the past couple of months I have been determined to make all of our meals from scratch (or at least our dinners). This pregnancy and cooling weather has my body craving warm, fresh soups. The last couple of weeks I have experimented with making stock broth. It has turned out pretty well, so I'd like to share and enable others to make their own fresh stocks.

The first key to saving money and making good stock with fresh food is to buy whole products - whole chicken and ham, not partial. Using the chicken in soups and casseroles allows me to use 1 chicken for at least 2 different meals, and I can freeze the stock for future use. I'll be using chicken as the meat in this recipe, but ham may be used as a substitute.

To make the stock, fill a pot with water and bring to boil. While waiting for water to boil, prepare vegetables to add to stock:

1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
2-3 cloves of garlic, cut in half
2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut in half

*More vegetables, such as celery, may be used if desired.

Add the vegetables to the water. Rinse chicken and add to boiling water. Let chicken boil for about 5 minutes, then cover and simmer on low for 6-8 hours.